Death toll across Palestine surges to 19,088, nearly 55,000 wounded

Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel on Saturday, Dec 16, 2023. - Photo: AP

RAMALLAH: Death toll in the Gaza Strip and West Bank from continuous Isreali aggression since Oct 7 has risen to 19,088, with over 54,450 individuals wounded.

The attacks against the Palestinian people entered the 71th day on Saturday (Dec16).

The Palestinian Health Ministry, in a press statement, said that the documented number of casualties in the Gaza Strip has reached 18,800, while the death toll in the West Bank also surged to 288, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

In addition, the ministry said, 51,000 Palestinians have been injured in Gaza, and nearly 3,450 others in the West Bank.

Among the casualties in Gaza, over 300 were healthcare workers, 86 journalists, 35 civil defense personnel, and 135 UNRWA staff.

The Health Ministry reiterated its warnings about the dangers of the depletion of vaccine supplies in Gaza, which could lead to catastrophic health consequences, especially among displaced individuals in overcrowded shelters.

The ministry documented 360,000 cases of infectious diseases in shelters, but said it believes the actual number to be higher.

With only 11 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza partially operational and able to admit new patients, healthcare services are severely affected by the Israeli aggression, according to the ministry.

Notably, only one hospital in the north is operational, according to the World Health Organisation.

The year 2023 is considered the bloodiest for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, with 496 victims recorded since the beginning of the year.

WAFA reported that the Health Ministry also warned of increasing Israeli attacks on hospitals, health centers, and ambulance vehicles in the West Bank, which further obstruct access to essential healthcare services. - Bernama-WAFA

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